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Messages - kirbee

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach3 and Inkscape to Create GCode?
« on: November 25, 2018, 01:20:57 PM »
I'm using the following project development path: Inkscape -> CamBam -> Mach 3.

I discovered Inkscape a few years ago and I love it because it's SVG at it core, meaning it's infinitely scalable. Inkscape can output a DXF file, which I then import into CamBam to generate the G-code for Mach3. Inkscape itself does not produce G-code (as far as I know). I looked at a few G-code generators and after, admittedly, a room-wide search I picked CamBam, but I am quite happy with my choice - it works with zero hiccups (so far) and the CamBam folks have always quickly responded to my emails.

My development 'path' has many options. I still use MS Paint for simple stuff and then move images and clips back and forth (cut & paste or import) between Paint and Inkscape depending on what I'm doing. Other drawing packages could also be used since Inkscape can work with many image file types. I can also draw simple stuff directly in CamBam and output G-code, or I can export a CamBam file in DXF format back upstream into Inkscape (I've actually never had to do that for real but it works just fine if you need it).

Compared to the majority on this forum I'm a newbie. I use my homemade mill to engrave glass (in a water bath) and engrave or carve wood. (My core hobby is fused and stained glass. The mill gives me many more options with that material.) The end result of this development path is that I can cut anything I can draw or import, within the limitations of the mill or material.

I hope this helps.  

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FWIW - as suggested I removed Norton and took the platform off my network - everything is still fine. I do all my design and G-code generation on my office platform and I was a little lazy by trying to avoid sneakernetting. Nice try. Thumb drives are a way of life.

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I'm not exactly new here, just new to posting as of today. I got into CNC by helping a friend. I was never interested in CNC work, instead one of my big hobbies is stained and fused glass.

I'm an engineer, he's not, and so he asked me to take a pile of surplus tables and Compumotor parts and build something. One thing led to another and he had his second mill, but unfortunately it was running Compumotor's 6000 series software in 2015 (yes, it still lives). I built him exactly what he asked for but not what he needed and so I upgraded his mill to Mach3 and he's now doing very well.

I had fun playing with the mill I had built but then I had to give it away and I was mill-less. To fill the void using the rest of the surplus parts I built a second mill for myself. However, my friend was transforming from strictly a hobby to hobby-plus and selling his wares online. He needed another mill for specialty work and so I sold him my second mill.

Now I've build a much larger third mill (~17"x22" cutting area) where I can cut wood and engrave glass (in a water bath). Merging mill and kiln operations has greatly increased the variety of what I can do with the medium.

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I just resolved an issue with an MS Window 7 security update (KB4088875) that was causing the parallel port to reboot the PC and I'm asking whether anyone else ran into this problem or has any additional info.

The problem manifested itself just like what's described in the documentation when you neglected to immediately reboot after a Mach3 installation. The security update was published on 3/13 and the MS page indicates a number of known issues that they say are being resolved. The PC did the same thing when running Driver Test - rebooted as the driver was 'taking over.'

I removed the update and then removed Mach3, including manually removing the driver, and then I reinstalled Mach3. Runs fine now (but I have to reenter all the settings).

I have a Dell Optiplex 780 with a second parallel port, Win7, Norton Security, but very little else on the platform as this PC is dedicated to the mill.

Comments welcome!

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